Domestic violence is traumatizing for anyone to experience. If you are a victim of domestic violence, you may not understand what choices you have when in comes to working to get yourself in a safer situation in regards to the law. There are a few things you should know about domestic violence whether you are currently in a violent relationship, or in the process of divorcing an abusive partner.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is any form of mental, physical, verbal, psychological, sexual, economic, or emotional abuse that takes place in a domestic situation. Such a domestic situation could include same-sex couples, heterosexual couples, families, or any other group of people who are involved in cohabitation.
Statistically, women are more likely to be the victims of domestic abuse with about 85% of all domestic violence suffers being women. However, men can and are also victims of domestic violence, although it is less common. Alcohol abuse is often a component of domestic violence, as well as mental disorders.
Very often domestic violence is inter-generational, with children learning abusive behavior from their parents and then acting out that abuse on their partners once they reach adulthood. Domestic violence can be covert, in the case of physical violence, or overt in the case of emotional abuse and violence. Quite often domestic violence can be perpetrated without anyone being aware of the violence except for the victim and the perpetrator. The perpetrator will often justify their behavior by convincing themselves that the victim deserves the abuse.
Documenting Domestic Violence
In order to help you escape domestic violence, you need to document the violence as best as possible in order to obtain a protective order. Documenting domestic violence is a difficult task. It can be documented, most ideally, through using video tapes that show the perpetrator being physically violent against the victim. However this is exceedingly difficult to achieve. Audio tapes can also be made which show verbal abuse against the victim. If one is a victim of verbal abuse then one could record their conversations with the abuser and use this as evidence to prove verbal abuse. A visit to the doctor to document physical injuries, as well as pictures of bruises, swelling or broken bones is also good evidence of abuse.
A protective order is also known as a restraining order. It is issued by a court and will state that one individual must refrain from doing certain things. Normally they are used to keep a violent person from hurting someone again by stating that if they come within a certain distance of the victim they will be arrested.
Restraining orders can be procured relatively easily and are a useful tool in divorce proceedings if one spouse has a history of violence against their partner. Judges tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to restraining orders. They will often issue restraining orders with very little evidence required. This is because the negative consequences of not issuing a restraining order are much more severe than the consequences of issuing too many restraining orders. If a defendant has a restraining order issued against them they can dispute the order in court.
When Experiencing Domestic Violence, Seriously Consider Divorce
Domestic violence, rather than abating, tends to get worse over time. If you find yourself in a domestic violence situation, you need to seriously consider divorce in order to get out of a dangerous situation before it gets worse. Leaving a domestically violent marriage is a difficult road, as you may be afraid of violent repercussions from your partner.
However, there are things that you can do to protect yourself, like getting a protective order as discussed above. Working with a family lawyer during your divorce can also help protect you. Family lawyers from sites like http://www.glfamilylaw.com have the legal prowess and connections that make working with the police force and within the law to protect you and your children as well as possible much easier.
If you do take the best step and seek out a divorce, you will most likely be worried about child custody. Child custody can be one of the most difficult and controversial aspects of divorce proceedings. If one spouse has a history of violence against their partner or their child, then it is extremely important that they do not get custody of the child. Police records can be used to prove domestic violence against their partner or child if the police were called to the scene of any domestic altercations. Your lawyer can help you argue effectively that your children will be in danger if custody is given to your abusive partner.